From Tongariro we travelled south, crossing over onto the south island of New Zealand on the Cook Strait ferry from Wellington. Here we spent another night on live aboard boat accommodation in Abel Tasman national park, where we were introduced to the joys of the New Zealand sand fly. I kid you not, I am the human equivalent of a blue light to all mosquitos and sand flies. 


In the time between the Bay of Islands and this post, quite a few days elapsed which I have chosen not to document. This is simply because recounting every day of this trip would take me another week of writing, and I've only got a few days of blogging left before I have to leave for Sydney. To quickly summarise, the highlights of these missing days were: surfing in Raglan (a very cool surf town you should really check out if you're in the North Island) and caving at Waitomo caves (glowworms galore).


I left the luxury of Pat and Peter's place to start my 24 day tour of New Zealand at Nomads hostel, Auckland. Definitely a bit of a downgrade in terms of accommodation standards so far, but I was quite happy to be there after an evening with the group drinking $5 beers. The next morning we set off for the Bay of Islands, about a three and a half hour drive north from Auckland, which was split up with a few stops.


Since booking my tour of New Zealand I'd been feeling quite disappointed that I wouldn't get the chance to visit the Hobbiton film set, so I was delighted, to say the least, when my friends suggested we take a day trip from Auckland to see it. I'm a big Lord of the Rings fan. I spent a night with my best friend, Kirsten, at an overnight IMAX movie-marathon a few years ago, and more recently some of my first dates with my boyfriend, Oliver, were spent happily watching the trilogy together at each other's houses.


There is nothing more welcome and appreciated than arriving from a long-haul flight to a familiar face at the airport, a warm shower, and a beautifully made-up double bed. After a few days of settling in and waiting for the stormy weather to pass, my friends and I packed up our overnight bags and headed off on a maritime adventure. 

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